Monday, March 4, 2013

J.D. Spark Painting

Last Saturday, March 2nd was the opening reception for the Toons On Walls gallery.  Everyone in the audience was invited to submit a piece created at, or inspired by, past drawing sessions of Toons On Tap.   Concerned there would not be enough digital paintings and submissions of male models, I killed two birds with my entry.

For my contribution, I chose to create a digital painting from our Drive themed session with circus performer J.D. Spark.  My goals were A) to experiment painting with textured brushes, and B) to conquer a difficult angle of the head.  Here was the final result.

This painting kicked my ass
The beautiful thing about painting with texture is that the final result does not look as laboured as the acutal process.  For the yellow background, I created custom brushes in Photoshop with the font Cityscape.  One brush was the title of the session.  The second, the title of the performer.

Far more challenging for me was getting the head right.  Even using Jeffrey's photo for reference, my first few drafts weren't even close.  J.D. is a ridiculously handsome man who looks like a redheaded, extremely flexible Ryan Gosling.  I had painted him as a potato.  Compare:
The dancing potato man
Thinking of what I learned at animation school, I placed the reference photo in a new layer and literally flipped back and forth between the painting and photo.  Cutting apart the image, I moved around features to their correct positions, salvaging what worked (the ear, jacket and hair), and just about repainting everything else.

Also, I changed the icky purple and mint to a hot, hot fuchsia pink and black.  We didn't plan on it, but Jeremy Cardarelli and Andrew Craig also did digital paintings of dangerous men with pink used prominently.  We were the axis of fuchsia dudes, and it was awesome.

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